training myself not to care

by Kate

I am intense.  While I think that’s an inherently stupid statement (what does it even mean?) it communicates an idea I don’t know how to say any other way.  I feel intensely, think intensely, express myself with great intensity.

It can be a great quality.  When I’m at my best, my intensity is like a turbo-charger for awesomeness.  But it can be overwhelming, how much I feel, think, talk… it can be a bad thing, too.

I’ve been throwing myself at someone for the last few weeks, seeing what sticks.  And he’s been remarkably game, very sweet and charming, and he hasn’t seemed too put-off by my obsessive late-night emails or my bizarre text messages.  I think I had him a little worried for a bit after I said I was going to drain his spinal fluid, but I convinced him that I wasn’t serious.  And there’s been a lot of flirting, racy (but not pornographic) photos exchanged, hundreds of text messages, several email exchanges, and we’ve hung out and had fun three times.  With kissing!

I’m fucking sick of this.

Not of the guy, he’s done nothing wrong.

I’m sick of settling for being tolerated and occasionally indulged but never, not really, cherished for my quirks.  I’m exhausted by my own desire to test people, to haze them by being as INTENSE as possible, to see… to see what?  If they can take it?  If they’ll return it?  I act crazier than I really am (quite a feat!) to see if they’ll be scared off, and if they aren’t, I act even crazier.

It’s easier to be a caricature of myself than it is to lay bare what I really am– scared.  And sad.  Weary and wary of the same mistakes I keep making, but still eager and willing to try again.  I’m looking for something real and sincere and, in its own odd way, wholesome.  So of course I make lots of jokes about chloroform and stealing sperm and strange sexual practices.  I’d rather be rejected for being too crazy for someone than for being, y’know, too me.

I have the ability to love with a great, big, forceful intensity.  I have a variety of awesome qualities that I’d like to believe more than compensate for my bad ones.  I’m very intelligent, I almost always smell good, I’m funny, and I try very hard to be kind.

What am I doing?  Why am I, once again, chasing after someone who doesn’t, when you get right down to it, want me?

So I’m trying very hard to scale it back a little.  Don’t bother the poor boy unless I have something to say.  Stop trying to test boundaries like a velociraptor throwing herself against an electrified fence in Jurassic Park, damn it, trying to find the weak spots.  I cannot trick anyone into wanting me.  I wouldn’t want to, even if I could.

And here’s the thing: I’m also afraid of commitment.  I don’t know that I’d want a serious relationship (with him or anyone) even if I could have it.  I don’t know how well I’d do living with someone again.  I don’t know if I want anyone having that much influence and control over my life again, and I don’t know how to be in a relationship without subjugating my will to the other person in all these huge and tiny ways until I lose myself, and lose all the qualities that drew my partner to me in the first place.

I could have a really cool friendship with this person, and instead I’m obsessing and worrying about what won’t or can’t be regardless of whether I’d actually want the things I can’t have.

I do want someone to love me back.  I want someone who wants to be with me.  I don’t want to always be the one initiating contact.  I want to not be the one asking “when can I see you again?” while always suspicious that the other person would do just fine not seeing me again for awhile.  I’m tired of being the only one who calls, writes, plans because I fear that if I’m not the one to call or write or plan, the other person will just sort of forget about me.  If I don’t keep it going, it won’t go.  Why do I keep settling for that?  Why don’t I just back off and wait and see instead of trying to force things?  It’s got to be easier than constantly throwing myself against that fucking electrified fence.

And it’s really not fair to the Object of My Affection, either.  Because rather than appreciating all the wonderful qualities of The Object, I’m just repeating the same behaviors that I act out for every boy.  Instead of approaching him as an individual, I’m treating him as just another boy.  Another object of fixation.  And that just isn’t very nice.  It could be awesome, even if it never goes anywhere.  And chances are, it isn’t going anywhere.

I stayed at his place Wednesday night, and when I was driving back down to Carmel, I had a lot of time to think.  Even though I’d had a great time, I felt very sad on that drive.  What I figured out is simple: I don’t want to keep making an ass of myself the way I have been.  Even though he’s been, as I said, lovely and game and all, I’m making myself sick.  I can’t do this anymore.

Someone will come along, eventually, who’ll appreciate my intensity.  Maybe what has to happen first is that I learn to give people enough room to walk away.  Otherwise I’m never going to stop thinking that the only reason these objects of my fixation spend time with me is that I’m bullying them into it.

I need to take people as they are.  And I need to stop being scared to show who I am.  Otherwise I’ll keep tearing myself apart trying to change things that are, in reality, kind of amazing just as they are.

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